LittleHorse

LittleHorse

BandRockPop

LittleHorse has been described by critics – ranging from National Public Radio to Keyboard Magazine - as "over the top," and "inspirational." Perhaps more descriptively, Boston Globe likened the duel-piano rock/pop group to "Manhattan Transfer dueling with Queen in the Latin quarter.

Biography

LittleHorse has been described by critics – ranging from National Public Radio to Keyboard Magazine - as "over the top," and "inspirational." Perhaps more descriptively, Boston Globe likened the duel-piano rock/pop group to "Manhattan Transfer dueling with Queen in the Latin quarter." To the brothers, E. and Jo (yes, "Yo") Horsley, who lead the group, LittleHorse’s eclectic sound is a reflection of what they grew up with, who they are now, and who (and sometimes where) they want to be.

"We were surrounded by a wide range of musical and artistic influences in our developing years," says Jo, "So naturally, we wanted to combine the best of what we heard." Their mother insisted on a well-structured classical music training, while their father corrupted them with boogie-woogie pianists Dr. John and Professor Longhair, as well as Chuck Berry, The Beatles, and many jazz artists.

"Eventually," says, E., "I spent more time transcribing Oscar Peterson records than learning Chopin. Next thing I knew, Jo would literally sit next to me on the piano bench improvising on top of the music. We played like this for years." As teenagers, the brothers became proficient in other instruments, such as drums, bass, guitar and voice, but piano remained their true passion. During their music studies in college, they immersed themselves in Cuban and Brazilian music, as well as jazz vocal groups such as Vox One and Take 6. "We were determined to make our band a total experience. Everything beautiful and virtuosic from a broad range of cultures and traditions."

Indeed, if one listens to a LittleHorse album from beginning to end, one might distinctly hear echos of Santana, Supertramp, Billy Joel, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Jellyfish, Ben Folds Five, Tito Puente, Ibrahim Ferrar (Beuna Vista Social Club), Carlos Jobim, Earth Wind and Fire, Take 6, not to mention Liszt and Chopin, just to name a few. But the layered sonic experience is also tightly wrapped in punchy (danceable, actually) melody-driven rock grooves, which the brothers sometimes refer to as "adventure rock." Lyrically as intricate as the music is rich, the themes tend to center around the exotic extremes of life, with the occasional self-deprecating humor thrown in. The listener will be immersed in vivid scenes of life that seem to overlay the most poignant moments from epic tales such as Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, George Mallory, Bonnie & Clyde, The Odyssey, and more. Not that the music is academic, merely, the lyrical and musical content is designed to support a second (and third, fourth, etc.), more careful listen.

It’s not difficult to see the brothers’ personalities reflected in the music. Jo, the singer and front man of the band, says "I typically like to push the envelope of creativity and my brother will reign in the wild ideas and help define the core artistic element." The result is that each unique song seems to pull from the best of each brother’s dynamic personality to create music that innovates while retaining classic instrumentation and sounds.

So what is missing here? Angst, depression and a spinal-tap-esque sense of self-importance that is often peddled as "deep art" in some of today’s pop/rock music. You won’t find songs about the the misunderstood soul and other acute ailments of modern self-absorption. Oh, and, of course, you won’t find heavy guitars (after all, LittleHorse brands itself as "America’s Only Double Piano Rock Band"). The music has an imbedded optimism that is just plain refreshing. E. puts it best: "We want you to feel like you’ve just climbed Mt. Everest without breaking a sweat, and then base-jumped in to the valley below, giving yourself a chance to take in all the wonders around you. And you might have a couple of Red Bulls on the way down."

The new album, Strangers in the Valley, begins with a pop epic, “I Want Your Love,” which is loosely based on Homer’s Odyssey. Songs such as "Tell Me What You’d Say" and a cover of Louis Jordan’s "Is You Is or Is You Ain’t (My Baby)?" demonstrate the group’s strong vocal harmony skills, while the more reflective ballads "Jupiter" and "Soldiers Lullaby" show a side of LittleHorse that we haven’t much seen on the group’s previous two records. The 15-song album, which includes two remixes from the previous album, finally leaps into thin air with "Birlstone," the first of three songs alluding to one of the Sherlock Holmes novels, The Valley of Fear, a true-to-form LittleHorse over-the-top, spy-rock closer. LittleHorse’s commitment to strong lyric writing comes through particularly in the charming "2nd Rate Sweetheart." Overall, the record delivers the promised breathless experience of a LittleHorse album, but Strangers also distinguishes itself as the most mature and consistent LittleHorse record yet. If you are secretly longing for melody-driven rock without the angst, LittleHorse may your greatest guilty pleasure.

Lyrics

I Want Your Love

Written By: Joachim Horsley

With no promises of rescue
I’m adrift beyond your site
I’m the captain and the crew of my regret
Though my hands and feet scream mutiny
My heart must stay the course
With a ship that runs on pride not sinking yet

“If I may make one suggestion,”
Says reason, my first mate,
“I would turn this ship around and cut our loss.”
My fear has met with all of them,
And tries to steer us back
But it seems only my heart must learn the cost

When I reach the shore
The world will have moved on
But one mantra keeps me moving all the time

I want your Love

Now the winds have come against me
Like the breach of Aeolus’ bag
And Poseidon sends his waves a mountain high
I say bring on your obstacles
This ship will reach her port
It may take some time but time is always mine

So let me take my chances
With Nereus’ violence
I will find your country
I will break this silence

I Want Your Love

Written By: Joachim Horsley and Erich Horsley

With no promises of rescue
I’m adrift beyond your site
I’m the captain and the crew of my regret
Though my hands and feet scream mutiny
My heart must stay the course
With a ship that runs on pride not sinking yet

“If I may make one suggestion,”
Says reason, my first mate,
“I would turn this ship around and cut our loss.”
My fear has met with all of them,
And tries to steer us back
But it seems only my heart must learn the cost

When I reach the shore
The world will have moved on
But one mantra keeps me moving all the time

I want your Love

Now the winds have come against me
Like the breach of Aeolus’ bag
And Poseidon sends his waves a mountain high
I say bring on your obstacles
This ship will reach her port
It may take some time but time is always mine

So let me take my chances
With Nereus’ violence
I will find your country
I will break this silence

Soldier's Lullaby

Written By: Joachim Horsley and Erich Horsley

Straight from the fields he ran
With an olive still in hand,
To watch them march away
And as the olive fell to sand
He prayed to see his father again
And the Tree was born that day

And as the years go by
She will sing another newborn son her soldier’s lullaby
As generations churn,
Her melody can still be heard bidding safe return

As wars and battles rage
And choices yield to cages
And windows turn to walls
Every boy becomes a man
Only weapons in his hands
His father's honor calls...

She saw cities burn to ash
She saw steel replacing stone
for every boy who made a wish
came a boy who's left alone

A Thousand Years went by
And the Tree was still alive
Though fruit She bore no more.
The legend said it was a king
Who planted this beautiful thing
A king they’re fighting for.

Jupiter

Written By: Joachim Horsley and Erich Horsley

Long ago, when life was so much simpler
My mind would take me to Jupiter
And on the way back tap on the moon
Now I’m stuck square in reality
Trying to make my way back to the fantasy
Caught up in the everyday like I’m marooned

I still can’t hear what your saying, though I mean no offense
But sometimes the hustle-bustle gets a little intense
So I think I’ll take a moment to get back in to outer space
(I gotta get away from this place)

Fly, fly, fly away, all the way to Jupiter
Fly, fly, fly away

As I rise, I see a face staring back at me
The eyes of a man in a tragedy
The seed of monotony comes in to bloom
I walk to work in a symphony
Step time to the morning cacophony
Fading out the horns as I cue my own tune

Some come and meet me at the corner at 25:10
Where we’ll dance across the sky, on the journey within
And you’ll hold me close and whisper, “It’s the best place you’ver ever been.”
(And then we’ll start all over again)

You should see Mars
Eclipsed by the light
Of the sun in my mind
It’s a heavenly sight
Worries never reach me drifting deep in to space
Earth looks so much better when you leave it
If you don’t believe me, you should come and see it

Tell Me What You'd Say

Written By: Joachim Horsley and Erich Horsley

I was born a man of vision
Some would say an opportunist mind
Boredom left me one decision
Not satisfied with simple crimes…

Your innocence was wasted
But your brilliance soon would find it’s way
Your tricks with numbers made you infamous
But late at night you begged me “Tell me What You’d Say”!

First we conquered banks and businesses
As each system would reveal it’s flaw
I would mastermind the getaway
You would navigate the nuances of law

Why don’t you tell me dear, tell me what you’d say?
Why don’t you tell me dear, tell me what you’d do?

Found themselves surrounded, escape was blocked at every door
One would be delivered, the other safely come to shore
Splitting their direction, one last hope remained
With time run out you cried to me as you gave your life away

Discography

3 releases:
Perils and Thrills (2000) EP
The Mission Before US (2002) Full Length
Strangers In the Valley (2007)

All available on Itunes and CD Baby
http://www.LittleHorse.net
http://www.myspace.com/LittleHorseBand
http://www.youtube.com/LittleHorsedotnet

Set List

http://www.LittleHorse.net
http://www.myspace.com/LittleHorseBand
http://www.youtube.com/LittleHorsedotnet